Nvidia Says Patent Office Rejects Rambus Claims

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. said Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a nonbinding judgment in its favor in a patent dispute with memory chip company Rambus Inc.

The patent office's ruling can be appealed by Rambus but will inform a decision by the International Trade Commission in a trial expected in August, said Nvidia spokesman Hector Marinez.

A final determination is expected is expected in 2010, he said.

The patent office rejected eight claims covering two patents that Rambus alleged Nvidia had infringed on.

The ruling follows the office's decision in June to reject 41 other claims made by Rambus on seven other patents.

"The USPTO has now initially rejected all of the patent claims asserted by Rambus against Nvidia in the ITC," said Nvidia general counsel David Shannon in a statement.

Last month, Rambus said it was dropping 25 of the claims covering five patents to simplify the investigation and hearing.

Rambus spokeswoman Linda Ashmore said the rulings were part of a process that could take years to resolve in the courts, and called Nvidia's petition to the USPTO "part of the multi-pronged approach to delay paying Rambus for our patented inventions."

The suit involves memory controllers related to graphics processors.

Nvidia shares rose 20 cents to $10.70 after the announcement, while Rambus shares added 13 cents to $15.61.

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